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NEWS | Oct. 7, 2019

National Hispanic Heritage Month: 149th FW celebrates Airman's culture, devoted service

By Master Sgt. Mindy Bloem 149th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 149th Fighter Wing’s Military Equal Opportunity Office, assigned to the Texas Air National Guard, is recognizing Staff Sgt. Cesar Ostolaza during National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed every year from Sept. 15 - Oct. 15.

Ostolaza was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He first joined the U.S. Army in 2002 after leaving his job at the Puerto Rico Police Department. He served in the Army on active duty until 2005 when he decided to transition into the Air Force.

During his time in both the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard, Ostolaza worked in various career fields including supply, weapons, IT, religious affairs and, most recently, the 149th FW’s MEO office.

“The most rewarding part of my military job is to know that I am an important factor in the education of our members regarding EO laws,” Ostolaza said. “Many times, conflicts are created because of a lack of knowledge; and as an EO specialist, part of my job is to provide guidance in regards to these issues. It’s important to get to the source of the problem, and I believe that if we are better educated on these topics, we can avoid most situations.”

In addition to his wide and varied military experience, Ostolaza holds a bachelor’s degree in history and Spanish. In fact, before accepting his current civilian position as a federal investigator with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Ostolaza taught kindergarten in Waco, Texas.

When reflecting on being recognized during this monthly observance, Ostolaza gets right to the heart of the matter.

“To be honest, it feels great,” he said. “This is the first time in my career that I am being recognized. I feel very proud, not because of me but because of my parents. They raised me well, and thanks to them, I am the man standing here today.”